Superstars in hot pursuit and out ahead

Sebastien Ogier (FRA) of team TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WRT celebrates after winning World Rally Championship in Monte Carlo, Monaco on January 22, 2022

Olympic champion Karsten Warholm, world champions such as Marco Odermatt, and chart toppers like Geri Horner: we’re pulling out all the stops for the 10th Wings for Life World Run, and some big names are joining us en route.

The Wings for Life World Run is based on an original concept: you simply run as far as you can. Gradually followed by the Catcher Car that attempts to reach you as soon as possible. Of course, you’ll be keeping your focus on the road ahead. But this year, on the 10th anniversary of our unique charity run, it might be a good idea to take a quick glance over your shoulder now and then. There’s a chance you’ll spot a superstar catching you up: Geri Horner – better known as Spice Girl Geri Halliwell – will be one of the famous participants. Singer of legendary boyband NSYNC Lance Bass is another, and they will both be joined by sports personalities like Kanoa Igarashi (Olympic silver medallist in surfing), world rally champion Sébastien Ogier, and Olympic champion in 400m hurdles Karsten Warholm. But more on that later.

Olympic champions on your tail

The 10th anniversary of the global run on May 7th, 2023 is – aside from all the fun, of course – once again every step of the way about contributing towards helping people with a spinal cord injury to potentially walk again by themselves. This is the aim that has been wholeheartedly embraced by numerous high-profile sports professionals, artists and influencers. For instance in Germany, the Catcher Car at the Flagship Run in Munich will be steered by Formula 3 racing driver Sophia Flörsch and Olympic track cycling champion Kristina Vogel. While in Vienna, two-time Olympic snowboard champion Anna Gasser and renowned monoski and rally driver Reini Sampl will be in the cockpit. Runners in Switzerland will be chased by freerider and kitesurfer Maxime Chabloz.

Gathering speed

The list of famous names who are helping to find a cure for spinal cord injury in their support for the 10th Wings for Life World Run is a long one: at the Flagship Run in Poznań (Poland), for example, four-time ski jumping world champion Adam Małysz will be driving the Catcher Car; in Ljubljana (Slovenia), it will be up-and-coming young rally star Mark Škulj. Just like their colleagues in other countries, they have a key role to play during the race.

The race format, which is now internationally acclaimed, allows participants 30 minutes of free running at the start. But half an hour after the starting gun, the Catcher Car sets off – either in an app or in real life at the Flagship Runs – and it slowly comes closer to each participant. Its speed increases in stages: for the first 30 minutes, the Catcher Car travels at a constant speed of 14 km/h, rising every half-hour to 15, 16, 17 and 18 km/h. After that, the driver of the Catcher Car puts their foot down slightly further at half-hour intervals – to 22, 26, 30 km/h, and finally – 4.5 hours after the race started – it reaches 34 km/h, until the final participant has been caught.

Superstars in sight – and in your ears

Besides the Flagship Runs in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia and Georgia, there are numerous organized App Run Events in 35 countries around the globe. And of course, everyone is able to take part in the Wings for Life World Run via the app – wherever they happen to be in the world!

The app run participants are being chased by well-known personalities as well. The voices of international and national superstars will come closer and closer over headphones, as an individual, virtual finish line. Runners in the UK are sure to have no problem recognizing the unmistakeable voice accompanying them: Geri Horner, who – called Geri Halliwell at the time – was one of the biggest pop stars in the world with the Spice Girls. In the United States another mega pop star is motivating the runners: Lance Bass, actor and singer in legendary boyband NSYNC, will be spurring everyone on across the country.

You’re the star!

Stars can’t just be spotted behind the runners, though – many are also taking part themselves: alpine skiing overall world champion and two-time world champion Marco Odermatt will be among runners in Switzerland, alongside singer Seven and Youtuber AdiTotoro. In Norway, Olympic champion Karsten Warholm will be keeping ahead of the Catcher Car for as long as possible; in Munich, runners can look out for rally champion Sébastien Ogier; and in Brazil, racing driver Felipe Frage will be joining the crowds. In Slovenia, singer and former Miss World candidate Rebeka Dremelj is expected, and in France, skiing and motorsports hero Luc Alphand will be assuming the role of sporting ambassador. And in the United States, sports stars like tennis pro Reilly Opelka, freestyle ski ace Eileen Gu and skateboard champ Leticia Bufoni will be at the start.

But however famous and popular the starters beside and behind you in the Catcher Car happen to be: you are the real star of the Wings for Life World Run. After all, you’re running for those who can’t!

Simply register now for the 10th Wings for Life World Run on May 7th, 2023 – and get active alongside global superstars for a good cause!